The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that occupants in passenger vehicles represented 63% of the 36,650 vehicle crash-related deaths that occurred in 2018. Passenger vehicles make up a large proportion of the vehicles on the roadway in comparison to commercial trucks, buses, RVs, cargo vans, and other non-passenger vehicles. Drivers owe a duty of care to the rest of the motorists on the roadway, and when they violate this duty, you may have a right to compensation for the injuries you suffered as a result. A Greenville passenger vehicle accident attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is ready to help you with all aspects of your claim.
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Types of Passenger Vehicles
The IIHS groups passenger vehicles into these categories.
- Cars: cars (including sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, and minivans) make up the most common type of registered vehicle on the roadway in the United States. These vehicles weigh between 2,000 to more than 4,000 pounds and are between 70 square feet to more than 110 square feet in size. Because cars are the lightest type of passenger vehicle, they represent the most common type of passenger vehicle in occupant deaths. 57% of passenger vehicle driver deaths, making up 13,138 of the total 22,891 passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2018, occurred in cars.
- SUVs: sport utility vehicles weigh between 3,000 and more than 5,750 pounds and can be larger than 115 square feet. 5,035 of the 22,891 passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2018 occurred in SUVs, including 21% of driver deaths.
- Pickups: 4,369 of the 22,891 passenger vehicle-related fatalities that occurred in 2018 happened in pickup trucks, including 21% of driver deaths.
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Common Causes of Passenger Vehicle Collisions
With hundreds of millions of passenger vehicles on the roadway, there are various underlying reasons for traffic accidents involving these vehicles. Some of these include:
Distracted driving has quickly become a leading cause of traffic-related deaths, accounting for 2,841 deaths in 2018 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While texting while driving is a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving, distracted driving includes any activity that:
- Takes your hands off the steering wheel
- Takes your eyes off the road
- Takes your mind off the task of driving
The NHTSA reports that more than 10,000 people die each year in drunk driving accidents. Even a small amount of alcohol can significantly impair a person, leading to a decline in visual functions and the ability to safely perform multiple tasks at a time.
The NHTSA reports that speeding has been a contributing factor in one-third of all motor vehicle collisions for more than two decades. When people speed, they prioritize getting somewhere faster over the safety of other motorists because it takes longer to come to a complete stop the faster you are driving.
In a research paper entitled “Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities by Day and Night – A Contrast,” researchers from the NHTSA reported that the passenger vehicle fatality rate per vehicle mile driven is approximately three times greater at night than the rate during the day. When driving at nighttime, drivers may not be able to see dangers, or they may be tired and fall asleep at the wheel or be more likely to be impaired.
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Legal Obstacles You May Encounter With a Passenger Vehicle Accident Claim and How We May Be Able To Help
Passenger vehicle accidents may involve some unique legal challenges. A Greenville passenger vehicle accident lawyer from our team may be able to help you with these legal challenges:
You May Know the At-Fault Driver
If you were a passenger in the accident, you may know the at-fault driver on a personal level. He or she may be your relative, friend, or coworker. As an injured passenger, you have a right to compensation for damages you sustained through no fault of your own. Our lawyers can thoroughly investigate the accident and determine all liable parties. If your friend or relative was to blame for the accident, filing an accident claim is a legal action we can take against their insurance company, not directly against your loved one.
Extensive Damages May Be Involved
Passenger vehicle injuries may be extensive. Sometimes, multiple passengers are injured in a single accident. This can complicate things, since many people only maintain the minimum amount of liability insurance, which may be insufficient to cover serious damages or multiple injuries. Our team can identify all insurance policies that you may use to cover your damages and explore all options for recovery.
Insurance Companies May Try to Deny Liability
When more damages are involved, the insurance company may try to deny liability in an effort to escape an expensive claim. If this happens, it may be imperative that you contact a personal injury lawyer who can fight to protect your right to recover compensation for the full extent of your damages. We may be able to help you hold the negligent party responsible for the harm he or she caused you and fight for your compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages you sustained.
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Contact Our Team Today
If you or your loved one was injured in a motor vehicle accident, a passenger vehicle accident lawyer in Greenville from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is here to help. We want you to focus on your recovery while we handle the details of your claim. We provide a free consultation in which we gather more information about your accident and explain whether you have the legal basis to move forward with a claim. We charge no attorney fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf, so you have nothing to lose by calling us to learn more about your legal rights and options.
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